AU chief cautions Africa on investment promotion

African countries should devise new means of promoting investments other than waiting for foreign capital inflows, a Senior Africa Union (AU) official has said. In a press briefing yesterday, the AU Director General of Economic Affairs, Dr Rene N’Guettia Kouassi ,advised governments to develop microcredit as an effective means of stepping up investments on the continent.

African countries should devise new means of promoting investments other than waiting for foreign capital inflows, a Senior Africa Union (AU) official has said.

In a press briefing yesterday, the AU Director General of Economic Affairs, Dr Rene N’Guettia Kouassi ,advised governments to develop microcredit as an effective means of stepping up investments on the continent.

Flanked by the Chairman of Uganda Investment Authority, Patrick Bitature, Kouassi decried the high operation costs on the continent that arise from the dilapidated state of infrastructure.

“In this regard, promotion of public –private partnerships for construction of roads, railways and other means of land and virtual communication  represent an effective means of promoting the advent of a new green revolution in Africa,” he said.

He called for privatization and acquisition-merger operations as well as economic liberalisation, saying this will encourage local private operators to participate in national investment.

“Public policies on the development of African workforce skills and human capital as well as hygiene and health policies are also likely to reduce operating costs and create new investment opportunities not only in the training and education, but also in pharmaceutical sectors,” Kouassi added.

Joshua Setipa, a Counsellor in the office of the Director General of the World Trade Organisation hailed Rwanda as a great investment destination, adding that the government has put in place appropriate laws that ensure safe and secure investments.

“The time, for instance, of registering a company in Rwanda, is very short and this has increased its competitive advantage in terms of being a destination for foreign direct investments,” he said.

The Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission, Jean Ping, will today brief reporters on the theme of the 15thAU summit as well as assessment of Africa’s current political and economic situation.

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